Family-friendly restaurant opens in harbor
In place of Chuck’s Waterfront Grill and Endless Summer Bar & Cafe at 113 Harbor Way, restaurateur Aaron Petersen has a vision for a family-friendly, wallet-friendly environment.
Salty at the Beach is one product of his vision, a bar and grill that had its grand opening Thursday on the second floor above the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
With two patios boasting panoramic views of the harbor, frozen rosé and piña coladas, eight 50- to 70-inch flat screens and a menu with everything from poke to hot dogs to miso salmon, Salty at the Beach reflects Mr. Petersen’s locally stocked, family-oriented idea.
The restaurant seats a maximum of 100 customers, and has a full bar packed with local wines, craft beers and the infamous Endless Summer Mai Tai.
“The views upstairs are absolutely phenomenal,” the owner told the News-Press. “Just phenomenal. And it’s a great community down on the harbor.”
Mr. Petersen and his family own three other restaurants in Solvang: CHOMP Burgers, Fries and Shakes; Brekkies; and Mortensen’s Danish Bakery.
He plans to open CHOMP on the Rocks on the level below Salty at the Beach in around three weeks. CHOMP on the Rocks will emphasize the importance of family time even more, complete with burgers, milkshakes and not a TV in sight.
As a family man himself, Mr. Petersen said he wanted to provide something every member of the family can indulge. With the adjacent Maritime Museum, he said it’s in a perfect location for families looking for a bite to eat after enjoying what Santa Barbara has to offer.
For the kids: pink lemonade; for the young adults: White Claw seltzers; for the mothers: Shadow Ridge Chardonnay from San Luis Obispo County; and for the fathers: a pitcher or a pint of Firestone Mind Haze IPA from Buellton.
Appetizers include deviled eggs, Cajun shrimp and a butcher block with seasonal meats and cheeses, jam and crackers.
There’s a variety of lunch and dinner options, including a drunken apple salad, baked mac ‘n’ cheese, and steak and frites. There’s also a kids menu and, for dessert, a “sinful mud pie.”
Dave King and Bill Groeneveld, regulars at Breakwater and Brophy Bros, made sure to be the first customers at 11:30, and by the time they were splitting their mud pie, they were full and happy.
“This is a great spot,” Mr. King told the News-Press. “The parking is easy. The views are great.”
He’s lived in Santa Barbara since 1972, and Mr. Groeneveld since 1977.
Mr. King said his ultimate test of a restaurant is its mud pie, since he and his wife’s first date was over a mud pie. According to the longtime resident, Salty at the Beach “didn’t cheat on the crust,” and it was “so good.”
For lunch, he chose the french dip sandwich, which he added did not disappoint.
Mr. Groeneveld had the shrimp po boy and echoed the positive review.
Salty at the Beach is open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Coming soon is CHOMP on the Rocks, along with approved Axxess merchant status and a coffee bar open at 6:30 a.m. on Salty at the Beach’s front steps.